The Long And Winding Pedalboard
This has been probably the longest, slowest creative project of my life! Behold, my tribute to the greatest pedalboard in the world! (And who doesn't need a Jack Black reference on a post about a pedalboard?)
I've been using a Korg AX-5g for about 10 years for practice, and Logic Pro X guitar amps and effects boards for recording since 2016. I miss playing live, though, and have a hankering to put a regular youtube live performance together. So, one needs effects. A more direct, sans amp guitar line, and a synth line for Andy Summers fantasies. Don't stand too close to me, OK, or I'll call The Police.
So, the details, from top-right to bottom left...
- The blank space will house a custom built A+B-Y switch, to select guitar (A), SY-1 synth (B) or both (Y) and a 2x momentary button pedal to provide tap tempo and filter sweep for the SY-1 synth. These passive pedals are still on my contruction bench. IMage renderings are down at the bottom.
- The Boss SY-1 Synthesiser is a melange of leads, basses, pads, organs, bells and sequences, rich in retro warmth, controlled almost entirely from my guitar playing. It allows me to play my tune, Live Simply, in real time, without studio post production. The leads give some great, Van Halen style gtr/synth doubling. This should be an essential pedal in any guitarist's arsenal, these days.
- The next 2 pedals are amazing discoveries! The first is the Sonicake Cloud Chorus. This is a classic, 80s style bucket brigade analogue chorus with rich, deep, swirly tones. It cost me AU$40 new! It's the richest chorus I've ever played, and the chorus on my AX-5g multi is a rich chorus! Sonicake are a mind-blowing brand discovery!
- Then there's the Sonicake Sonic Ambience reverb. 4 styles, Room, Hall, Chamber and Plate, up to 2 seconds reverb duration, feedback mix and early reflection level all give it the power of a rack mount 'verb in a micropedal box! Did I mention that Sonicake are a mind-blowing brand discovery? They Are! So, that's the the synth line, I'll come to the looper last, as it's the last device in both chains.
- Back to the right, bottom row, this time, there's the Lotkey ABY pedal. I don't need the Y function for this one, as it's to switch between my "F-style" crunch guitar amp sim and my "M-style" lead sim. More on those in the next line.
- The Joyo American Sound pedal creates the preamp and EQ tones of a classic American twin. This provides my clean/crunch tones for most of my rhythm guitar sounds and some lighter duty lead sounds. The 2 amp sims are passively mixed and fed to the chorus via a custom built jack box seen just about the Bristish Sound pedal.
- The Joyo British Sound amp sim is my wild, out of control, "overcooked plexi" JCM channel. The sounds are as golden as the real thing.
- The Behringer chorus and 'verb may soon be replaced with Sonicake models (probably the Modulation pedal rather than the Cloud Chorus) and with the addition of their octave pedal before the chorus. They sound amazing, while the Behringers are a little, well, restrained. However, the "Behrries" will do for now.
- Now, the Boss RC5 stereo looper/rhythm pedal. Oh. My. Ghod! I have yet to put noise in this. A family birthday gift received only yesterday, but do check this official video! My plan is to combine this for some songs and my Zoom Livetrack L12 to create a one man band experience. So looking forward to playing with the RC5!
- The looper outputs go to an active, speaker-sim/guitar DI on the guitar line and a passive, transformer DI on the synth line. The amp outs from these go to a stereo monitor wedge for on stage sound. The balanced outs will go to the L12 mixer/recorder/player.
And finally, the 2 pedals I'm building are shown below, the Sweep TT tap tempo box and the the Abbey Route ABY box.
Addendum: Where the pedalboard might go next...